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Report: TV execs dislike idea of price cuts at iTunes

Apple wants to slash prices of TV shows available for download at iTunes but Hollywood is cool on the idea, according to report.

Apple is trying to convince Hollywood to reduce prices of downloads of TV shows from $1.99 to 99 cents, according to a story in Variety.

The trade publication reported Friday that TV networks have shown little enthusiasm to price cutting, although Apple is telling them that lowering the cost will boost sales, according to the story.

Last week, NBC Universal announced that it would not renew a long-term contract with Apple to sell TV shows via iTunes. Many in the entertainment sector have wanted more control in pricing their products at iTunes, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs has held fast to his model: most songs cost 99 cents and TV shows $1.99.

Apple accused NBC Universal of pulling out of its deal only after the network asked for a price increase that would have forced Apple to charge customers $4.99 for a TV show. NBC has denied this and said that it only wants more flexibility in iTunes' pricing.

When it comes to mobile video, Apple is the leader. The company has sold 950,000 and iTunes offers more than 500 different shows. But the company is increasingly finding itself competing against its suppliers.

Not only has NBC Universal partnered with News Corp to launch it's own video site, Hulu.com, but TV networks are starting to rely on their own Web sites to distribute content online. And many offer shows for free.

To watch Viacom's The Colbert Report on the Internet, all one need do is go to comedycentral.com . Clips of the shows are available free of charge as long as one is willing to sit through a commercial.